Your department/program assistant will report to you as department chair/program director. Effective utilization of the assistant can help you concentrate your energies on longer-term issues of leadership, faculty development, curricular evolution, mentoring of younger colleagues, faculty reviews, recruiting and hiring, etc. You should work with your assistant as needed to help set priorities. Course and student-related work should normally be the top priority, followed by departmental/program work, and then individual faculty work.

The College’s job description for academic administrative assistants is shown below. This may be helpful when talking with your assistant about responsibilities or in planning and conducting your assistant’s performance review.

Position Overview:

The Administrative Assistant manages the office and provides administrative support to the department chair or program director, faculty members and department staff in order to enhance faculty teaching and research. This employee serves as the face of the department/program, welcoming and assisting students, faculty, and staff, and facilitating the internal and external communications of the department/program.

Essential Job Functions/Responsibilities:

  • Course Support:Assist faculty in preparation of course materials, including materials for library reserve. Assist faculty with special requests regarding courses, classroom or maintenance needs. Prepare and edit annual course schedule and catalog copy for old and new courses.  Enter courses on the Registrar’s website.
  • Communication: Gather and distribute information to students concerning department requirements, courses, teaching schedules, faculty office hours/activities, career and internship opportunities. Update and maintain the department website ensuring information is available regarding the curriculum, department guidelines, major requirements, etc. Post publicity on the Carleton Events Calendar, the campus electronic sign boards, put up posters,  and submit information to Media Relations on lectures, visitors’ talks, etc. Assign advisers, monitor majors’ requirements and monitor files for completion of major requirements. Coordinate gathering of submissions from alumni and produce and distribute an annual alumni newsletter. Maintain departmental social media presence.
  • Faculty Hiring: Submit job postings to a wide range of organizations. Arrange candidate visits, including scheduling interviews and talks (room, publicity, meals, transportation, lodging, expense reimbursements). Create itineraries to share with candidates, Provost, faculty, involved students, other departments. Solicit student involvement in candidate visits: tours of campus, lunch with majors. Communicate with candidates regarding arrangements. Create publications and then publicize candidate talks: production and distribution of posters. Manage recruiting expenses.  Coordinate appointments with Provost’s office.
  • Department Budget: Analyze and correct periodic budget reports; follow-up on necessary corrections with the Business Office. Purchase supplies and equipment as needed using College credit card, requisition or other method; reconcile credit card purchases monthly, monitor and approve all other department members’ statements, and maintain records.
  • Integrative Exercise: Advise majors on the procedures for the integrative exercise. Coordinate the comps process with the faculty member coordinating comps, including receiving papers, scheduling exams, monitoring seminar attendance, assisting students with preparation of visual aids, and notifying the Registrar and students of comps grades.
  • General Office Responsibilities: Oversee the day-to-day operations of the office. Meet regularly with the chair/director to discuss current department business; attend department meetings, draft agendas, take and distribute minutes, track action items and deadlines. Prepare correspondence such as recommendation letters, requests for information, grant proposals, manuscripts, notices to students, etc. Order and maintain office equipment, supplies, and furniture; maintain department displays, bulletin boards, lobby areas and workroom. 
  • Assist New and Current Faculty: Provide orientation to department and campus. Arrange keycard access and make sure offices are in order; notify ITS for phone activation. Assist in ordering textbooks and providing supplies.
  • Special Events: Support departmental events by arranging for food, coordinating speaker schedules, managing event logistics, arranging travel for speakers, publicizing the event on physical and electronic bulletin boards, social media, etc.

Additional Job Responsibilities:

  • Interview, hire, train, supervise and terminate (if necessary) student workers. Arrange schedule, assign, oversee work, and sign timesheets. Prepare written evaluations of students at the end of their term or year. Provide recommendations as requested.
  • Maintain department records including files for graduates and faculty members, budget materials, course schedules, hiring records, syllabi, invited speakers, special projects, graduate plans, etc.
  • Monitor budget, schedule rooms, arrange transportation, accommodations, food and publicity for department picnics, dinners and various special events, visiting speakers/seminars, department meetings and retreats, etc.
  • Coordinate production of the department newsletter, including collecting material, editing, proofing, distributing and web posting.
  • Assist in departmental review process including arrangements for outside reviewers, setting up interview schedules, contacting student participants, arranging dinners and receptions, tracking expenses and reimbursements.
  • Assist in organizing off-campus programs including posting brochures and information on the web, publicizing meetings, etc.
  • Support faculty organizing events for outside organizations.

Describe Supervision Received and Exercised:

  • This position will hire and supervise student office assistants and will perform student worker evaluations.
  • Works closely with the department chair or program director.

Education/Experience/Skills (supported by job duties):


  • Post-high school education with five or more years of related experience.
  • Skilled in word processing, desktop publishing, Web editing, and willingness to learn new technology.
  • Excellent organizational, time management and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work independently and meet deadlines.
  • Experience engaging on social media.
  • Ability to work with a large and diverse group of faculty, prioritize work, and multi-task with many interruptions and some unpredictability of work situations.


  • Associate or Bachelor’s degree

NOTE: This job description is not intended to be all inclusive. Employee may perform other related duties to meet the ongoing needs of the organization.